The Rise of ISIS
Nowadays, global society tends to pay particular attention to ISIS, as well as to the events occurring in Syria in general. Refugee crisis and terrorist attacks made ISIS and its goals the subject of heated discussions among the people. The members of organization, who call themselves Muslim fighters, are considered to constitute the most threatening and horrifying terrorist group of the modern times; although they often use religion as a means of justifying their horrible crimes against humanity, ISIS members are not genuine Muslims because they violate religious ideas and simply misuse them to achieve their outrageous aims. The current paper outlines a long history of ISIS over the course of which the group managed to raise from a terrorist branch into a caliphate that now functions as a fanatical militarist state thus greatly concerning the United States.
History of ISIS
The name ISIS is an abbreviation that stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This terrorist group spreads its influence over the number of regions in the Middle East, since it creates terror and panic in the neighboring states and destabilizes the situation in Jordan, Iran, and Turkey as well as much more distant territories (Rodgers et al). The group considers itself to be a representation of Sunny Muslims, and defends the murders and terror attacks on the grounds of religion. Although the ISIS has gained the biggest amount of attention in 2012 and the following years, it has in fact a much longer history (Wood). Being organized in 1999, it was initially called Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad and represented a militant group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The group committed suicide attacks which were often carried in the mosques of Shia Muslims leading to deaths of many innocent people. It later joined the forces of Osama bin Laden thus becoming a part of the organization of al-Qaeda, and consequently changed its name. Apart from carrying massive attacks on American troops during the war in Iraq, it also had plans of claiming the authority over the country. Many of the group leaders were killed by the Americans, and as the result the organization eventually became the part of Mujahideen Shura Council. The Council united various militant insurgents in the region who wanted to control Iraq and aimed to create an Islamic state on its territory.
It was the civil war that erupted in Syria and caused the tremendous rise of ISIS with its constant increases in power. Firstly, the group has got a new leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was able to engage more members possessing the same hateful attitude towards the United States and sharing a fanatical view on using military attacks as the means to achieve their goals. The activity of the group significantly increased during the civil war in Syria thus helping to attract more soldiers and propagate the practiced ideas. In other words, the terrorists used the state of fear and insecurity in the country, as well as the lack of control and governance in order to endear more people and become more influential. The plan worked rather successfully enabling the group to attract sufficient number of supporters to start its own fight to control Syria. Due to this fact, the amount of members has greatly expanded and ISIS became the biggest terrorist organization constantly recruiting new members both inside and outside of the country.
The ideas of ISIS
ISIS demands to have its own state, caliphate, with harsh military and fanatical religious dogmas. For this reason the group started exterminating all those who were not Sunny Muslims. In fact, religion is merely a pretense for the organization to operate as they kill Sunny Muslims simply as any other people who do not support them. Currently, ISIS combines a bureaucratic machine that controls a large territory with military forces and fear using terrorist attacks as the way of treating its enemies. The aggressors want to gain more territories in the neighboring Muslim states including Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya etc. In order to attract the inhabitants of those countries to join the group, ISIS strongly relies on religion again. The group used some of the Islamic doctrines and adapted them to their terroristic goal, in such a way seeking fanatics and interpreting Islam freely with regard to its aims. The above mentioned is among the reasons for the followers of ISIS to be generally criticized and feared by other Muslims who share much more moderate views and recognize the hypocrisy and fanaticism of the organization with its extreme cruelty and hatred. The latter now operates rather as a military state creating havoc and causing many people to escape from the territory thus provoking refugee crisis that currently is a burning issue (“What ISIS”).
ISIS does not represent Islam
What is more, when speaking about ISIS, it is important to emphasize the fact that they are by no means a representation of Islam due to their misusage of many religious ideas and their adjustment with respect to fanatical goals. For example, Islam condemns suicides and does not encourage violence of any kind showing that this religion is very different from what ISIS stands for. Besides, the people who are Muslims have suffered greatly from ISIS which kills everyone who is not supporting them. Therefore, despite positioning itself as a religious group, ISIS uses religion merely to cover its crimes.
Although the Western powers have criticized ISIS and consider them to be terrorist, little measures were actually taken in order to stop the organization from growing. For a long period of time, the United States provided no or little response to ISIS and did not go further than simply expressing their concerns. Although the citizens and politicians are extremely critical of ISIS due to its terrorist acts and murders, the political system failed to respond in a proper military way and to use real measures to stop the crisis in Syria.
Currently, there are various debates regarding the actions that the United States as well as other countries should do to intervene and reduce the horrifying ambiance. The country managed to send some of the troops to Iraq so as to control the situation there, and supported other military operations, as well as started monitoring Syria via aircrafts and drones. Furthermore, the United States created a coalition including itself and a line of European countries with the aim of battling ISIS. One of the main steps of this process is spreading the information about the true nature of ISIS as well as dealing with ISIS’ economics. As caliphate makes most of its profits through selling oil, the United States are concerned about cutting this source of money; however, those operations have rather small-scale outcomes and fail to have much impact on the overall situation in the country.
Researchers point out the fact that the United States and other democratic countries have to intrude before ISIS claims more territories and turns the entire Middle East into chaos (Ignanius). One of the ways to achieve it is stop the organization’s financial tracks as well as employ military to combat them. The crisis created by ISIS led to a huge flow of refugees, many deaths, and overall disruption of the region, and the impact of ISIS on the world order can already be felt by the Western countries in particular and the world in general.
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The given paper presented the brief history of ISIS as well as the description of its current activities. Evidently, the organization is constantly growing and becoming stronger, thus, more dangerous to the humanity. It already controls huge territories with many people and a lot of resources, and it continues recruiting new members daily. The organization poses as a threat to the people in the region, but it is no longer the local problem due to the attacks on Western cities and killing of many innocent people. With this respect, the democratic forces need to unite their power in order to deal with the group and stop its rule. The inactivity and lack of response to ISIS’ terror is likely to lead to further horrors.
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